The majority of managers expect a pay rise in the coming year, according to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
The finding came in a survey which found three out of five bosses were broadly optimistic about their companies or organisations in 2020 after emerging from a year of low productivity and Brexit-induced uncertainty.
The CMI said optimism about the UK economy had only increased from 25% to 29% between 2018 and 2019.
Chief executive Ann Francke said: “Our managers are a vital barometer for business as a whole. It’s good news that our members are positive on issues like salary increases and job security, but it is concerning to see so few respond positively about the outlook on the economy.
“This should act as a trigger for the Government to invest in management and leadership skills in order to turbo-charge the economy and restore the confidence of British businesses.”
The CMI said its research suggested the UK will need 1.9 million new managers by 2024.
A Government spokesman said: “We are determined to make the UK the best place to work, making strides to turbocharge productivity, boost confidence and unlock potential in all corners of the UK.
“As part of this we are investing £56 million to fuel business growth across the UK – including by providing management training to small business leaders, and supporting 5.7 million companies to adopt new management practices and modern business tools.”